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By Usama Jawad96
Here's why FIFA 21 on PC will be inferior to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S
by Usama Jawad
FIFA 21 launched on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC early last month and is scheduled to land on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on December 4. The launch will come as a free update to owners of the game on latest consoles and will pack several new features not available on previous consoles and PC. Now, the publisher has revealed why "next-gen" features won't be making their way to PC platforms.
FIFA 21 on the latest game consoles includes features such as ball compression, a new camera angle, and muscle deformation. However, none of these will be making their way to the PC because EA wants to lower the barrier of entry in terms of specifications. In an interview with Eurogamer, Executive Producer Aaron McHardy had the following to say:
Looking at the statement, one has to wonder why EA couldn't figure out some workaround to keep the gen five features as optional on PC so people with powerful rigs could utilize them while gamers on lower-end PCs can simply switch them off for increased performance.
Given that the minimum requirements of the PC version are quite modest - requiring an Nvidia GTX 660 (2GB VRAM) or AMD Radeon HD 7850 (2GB VRAM), 8GB of RAM, and Intel Core i3-6100 or AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU - it definitely makes sense to not have "next-gen" capabilities on these machines. But ideally, there should have been an option to enable this for gamers on high-end machines.
By Jefferson Mangubat
Microsoft Office edit support comes to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for iOS
by Jefferson Mangubat
Google has rolled out native editing support for Microsoft Office files on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for iOS. The company announced the latest change today, available now for all users with both personal and enterprise accounts.
The new update allows you to edit, comment, and collaborate on Office files in Docs, Sheets, and Slides on your iPhone or iPad. Google says the feature "brings the collaborative and assistive features of Google Workspace to your Microsoft Office files” for iOS users. That means you no longer have to download and email file attachments like before. Prior to this change, you would need to convert an Office file into a format that's compatible with Docs, Sheets, or Slides in order to edit it on your iOS device, making that task cumbersome.
Office editing support was previously introduced to Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android in September. The same functionality was rolled out on the web last year. Just like its Android release, today's update gives you access to new improvements to sharing options and controls. The new capability also replaces the previous Office Compatibility Mode (Quickoffice), which only had basic functions.
By Rich Woods
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Smartwatches
by Rich Woods
Smartwatches can be an excellent gift because not everyone has one. If they do have one, it might be a few years old, as it's not something that we refresh as often as a smartphone. If you're looking to get a tech gift for someone that seems to have everything else, a smartwatch might be the way to go.
Here are some of our favorite smartwatches:
Huawei Watch Fit
Huawei's Watch Fit was one of my personal favorite smartwatches of the year. It's also the most inexpensive one that I reviewed at $129.99, but what's cool about this little device is that it has guided workouts. It's a great way to stay in shape when we can't go out. Of course, it will track your regular workouts, deliver notifications, and more. It also gets up to 10 days of battery life.
You can check out out review here, or find the product here. It works with iOS and Android.
Huawei Watch GT 2
It probably looks weird to have two Huawei products back-to-back, but it wouldn't make sense to come back around to this, as the Watch GT 2 series is so similar to the Watch Fit. The Watch GT 2 Pro is definitely the most stylish watch that I reviewed this year, and it has everything the Fit has except the guided workouts, and then some. For example, this watch can playback music during your workouts. It also gets up to two weeks of battery life, something that's unheard of in a smartwatch.
Coming in at under $200 for the non-Pro, it comes in a 46mm size and a smaller 42mm size for those with smaller wrists. You can check out our review here and check it out here. It works with iOS and Android.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3
The TicWatch Pro 3 is the first smartwatch to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset, the first to use Cortex-A53 and the first major advancement to the chipset since Android Wear was introduced in 2014. For that reason, the TicWatch Pro 3 is actually the only Wear OS smartwatch that I'd recommend right now.
It also has a unique dual-screen technology, which puts an LCD display on top of the OLED screen, so it's not using much power when it's idling. You can check out the review here, and check out the product here for $299.99. Wear OS works with both iOS and Android, although using it with iOS can be a bit limited.
Samsung Galaxy Watch3
Samsung's smartwatches run its Tizen OS, and they're actually pretty good. The newest one is called the Galaxy Watch3, and it has new features like blood pressure, ECG, and blood oxygen monitoring.
The 41mm model normally starts at $399.99, but you can get it for $339 right now. The 45mm variant is normally $429.99 and is on sale for $369. Both LTE variants are $60.99 off as well, with the 41mm one coming in at $389 and the 45mm one coming in at $419.
If you're looking for something that's more inexpensive along the same lines, check out the Galaxy Watch Active2, which is $70 off at $179.99 and $199.99 for the 40mm and 44mm models, respectively.
Samsung's watches work with all Android devices that have access to the Google Play Store, but it has much better integration with Samsung phones.
It wouldn't be a smartwatch gift guide without the Apple Watch, a device that many consider to be the best on the market. It only works with iPhones, of course, and the newest update adds features like sleep tracking, third-party watch face support, and more.
Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3, and it's currently $20 off at $179. You can also grab the Apple Watch SE $20 off for $289, or the Apple Watch Series 6 starting at $379. Apple offers a bunch of different configurations, and the prices go up from there.
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
By Rich Woods
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Streaming solutions
by Rich Woods
Every year, we like to write up some holiday gift guides for those that like to get people some device as a gift, but don't quite know what to get. One of my favorite topics is set-top boxes; you know, those little streaming devices that let you play Netflix, Hulu, and a lot more. The reason is that for so many people, streaming devices are the perfect gift.
There are so many people that only think to upgrade one component of their entertainment system. I can't tell you how many people I see spend a couple thousand dollars on a brand-new LG OLED or Samsung QLED 4K UHD TV, but they're still using their third-generation Apple TV or original Amazon Fire TV Stick. Many people just don't stop to think that they're limiting their experience by using an old device.
It's a meaningful upgrade in our experience too. We spend a lot of our time in front of TVs, whether it's for binging a new show on Netflix or watching movies. Going from something that only supports FHD to something that supports UHD and HDR formats like Dolby Vision can really change the experience. And it's not even an expensive gift.
Amazon Fire TV
If you're buying for someone that's invested in Amazon's ecosystem, the Fire TV is the way to go. What's great about them is that Amazon has some solid deals on its own hardware throughout the holiday season. There are four key products here: Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Stick Lite.
The Fire TV Cube is the best that Amazon has to offer. It's faster than the quad-core processors in the Fire TV Sticks with its hexa-core chipset, and it has an Ethernet port for wired internet speeds. Another key feature is far-field voice microphones for Alexa support. It's normally $119.99, but right now, it's $79.99.
The Fire TV Stick 4K has the same picture quality as the Fire TV Cube, meaning 4K resolution support along with HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and more HDR support. It comes with an Alexa voice remote. Normally $49.99, this product is just $29.99.
Next, we have the FHD lineup, which is the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick light. The Fire TV stick is normally $39.99 and it's marked down to $27.99, so you should probably just spend the extra $2 for 4K and Dolby Vision support. Finally, normally $29.99, the Fire TV Stick Lite is $17.99.
Fire TV Cube Fire TV Stick 4K Fire TV Stick Fire TV Stick Lite Google Chromecast
Google's Chromecast was always a product that I had trouble recommending. The whole idea was supposed to be a new take on a streaming device. Instead of a remote control, you cast content from your smartphone to the device, also controlling it with your phone. It was interesting, but not always practical.
The new Chromecast is more traditional though. It comes with an actual operating system, Google TV, which will let you run all of your apps like Netflix, Hulu, and so on. It also comes with a proper remote control. And another thing, you don't need to spend extra money on some "Ultra" variant to get 4K support. The new Chromecast supports 4K resolution, and HDR formats like Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+.
If you want to check it out on the Google Store, you can find it here.
The nice thing about Roku is that it's platform-agnostic. Amazon's Fire TV is built around Amazon Prime subscription content and on-demand content. Apple TV is built around iTunes. Roku isn't built around any service, although it does have a few of its own now. Roku was also the first to make a streaming set-top box back in the day.
These days, it makes a ton of products, and you can check out the full list here. At the top of the lineup is the Roku Ultra, which supports 4K, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and wired internet. Usually $99.99, it's on sale for $69.99. Roku also has the Streambar and Smart Soundbar, which add audio quality to the mix along with 4K HDR support.
There are some other things that are nice about Roku too, such as AirPlay support if you don't want to go all-in on an Apple TV. There's also a headphone jack in the remote control, so you can watch TV without waking people up. Just like Amazon, Roku also has its own range of inexpensive streaming sticks.
Roku Ultra ($69, usually $99.99) Roku Streambar (99.99, usually $129.99) Roku Smart Soundbar ($179.99) Apple TV
Apple TV is great if you're invested in Apple's ecosystem, and the nice thing about iTunes is that Apple doesn't charge extra for 4K content. Apple has two models, the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. The difference is pretty self-explanatory. The only problem is that the Apple TV 4K is already three years old, and the Apple TV HD is over five years old.
If you want to check these out, you can find them here:
Apple TV 4K ($179) Apple TV HD ($149) As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
By Jay Bonggolto
Apple extends deadline for online group event in-app purchase requirement to June 2021
by Jay Bonggolto
Apple is giving developers more time to incorporate in-app purchase systems into their apps that offer paid online events, a requirement that was initially set to take effect by the end of this year. That deadline has now been extended to June 30, 2021.
In September, Apple temporarily eased its policy that required an in-app purchase system for apps offering paid online group experiences. The reprieve lifted the 30% App Store fee for those events until December 31, allowing businesses to hold paid events and get all of the earnings after tax.
The change was made after Facebook complained about that requirement following the launch of its paid online events, which was meant to help Page owners monetize their live streams. The social networking giant then asked Apple and Google to waive the 30% fees from revenues generated through these events in support of small businesses and creators. The Cupertino-based company initially declined Facebook's request.
In announcing the extension, Apple cited the COVID-19 pandemic: “As the world fights COVID-19, we recognize that adapting experiences from in-person to digital continues to be a top priority.” That means small businesses and creators can now continue to conduct paid group events online through their iOS apps without paying Apple's standard App Store fees until mid 2021.